‘I believe everyone is capable of kindness,’ says young Saskatchewan philanthropist
Over the past five years, Catherine’s Cause has raised more than $50,000 for community initiatives
When she was five years old, Catherine Okolita’s mother took her to the park in her hometown of Fort Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan.
“The park was too dirty to play in, so my mom said, ‘We’re not coming back until somebody cleans it up,’” recalls 10-year-old Catherine.
“That night, we were talking and I said, ‘I’m somebody.’ She laughed and said, ‘Of course you are,’ and I said, ‘No, Mom, I’m somebody. I can clean the park.”
The next day, Catherine and her mom called a few friends and went to clean up the park—and just like that, Catherine’s Cause began.
Over the past five years, Catherine has raised and donated more than $50,000, plus in-kind donations, to the community. With playground projects, animal rescues, family literacy programs, fire departments, police, libraries, Christmas hampers and hospital funding drives, to name a few, Catherine’s Cause has been positively impacting Fort Qu’Appelle and the surrounding area.
In mid-March, Catherine made a particularly sizeable donation to the Hospitals of Regina Foundation for operation of its Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), raising money through an online auction.
Image gallery: Catherine's Cause
“I raised $23,156 this year,” she says proudly. “It’s my second annual online auction. Last year I raised $15,100.”
Similar to cleaning up her first park, Catherine got involved with the Hospitals of Regina Foundation rather serendipitously. “I was driving home one day with my mom and I heard about it on the radio. I asked what a NICU was and found out it’s where premature babies go and I decided I wanted to help out.”
Enbridge works to be a good neighbor in the communities near our operations and projects. We’re proud to have donated $2,000 to Catherine’s Cause fundraising for the Hospitals of Regina Foundation, as well as an item for the online auction.
“The auction is a lot of work,” admits Catherine, “but it can help save a baby’s life, so it’s worth it!”
At heart, Catherine’s motivation is simple: “I believe everyone is capable of kindness and when we choose to do something kind, no matter how small, great things can happen.”
(TOP PHOTO: Disc jockeys CC and Lorie of Regina radio station Z99 pose with Catherine Okolita after Catherine's Cause raised more than $23,000 for the Hospitals of Regina Foundation's Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in March 2019.)